There’s a lot more to SEO than just using a plugin. You want to be sure you’re using your keywords throughout your post, in your text, in your subheading, in the post title and the post URL. This is why the Yoast plugin is so popular: it checks these things for you and gives you a green light when you’ve done a good job.
Let’s take a look at the box the plugin adds to the post editor.
For this example I’ll be using the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast. The Genesis tool and other plugins have many of the same fields to fill out, they just don’t have the fancy tools that analyze a post for you.
As you can see I’ve input a keyword phrase that I want my post to rank well for: keyword rich post. Yoast has checked to be sure that I have used that keyword phrase in my title, an article heading, the post content, and the page’s URL and the meta description entered in the Yoast box. If I had missed one of these, the text would be red instead of green, making it obvious that I needed to rework something.
I also like that Yoast provides an example of what your post will look like in search results via the Snippit Preview.
Next let’s look at the post I created.
You will see here that I have outlined or used red font to highlight where I’ve used the keyword phrase I wish to rank for.
Now let’s look at Yoast’s full Page Analysis for this post.
Using the Page Analysis tab on the Yoast tool we can see a more detailed look at how my post ranks.
- My post is too short.
- I didn’t use an image.
- No outbound links! Yes, links to relevant content will improve your search ranking.
- Apparently I waited too long to use the keyword phrase within the content. Yoast says I’d be better off using it closer to the top. And they’re right. It’s usually beneficial to use it within the first few sentences in the first paragraph.
In a longer post you’d be able to integrate your keyword phrase multiple times throughout. You won’t want to use it so much that your post sounds funny, but you do want to use it enough that Google sees the post as really being about your focus keyword.
Optimizing Images for Search Engines
Using an image that has the keyword phrase in the name of the file, the title, alt text and description of the image will also help to boost your rank. On the right you can see how I’d optimize an image for SEO. This optimization also gets your image ready for Pinterest. Pretty cool, right?